Conservative leadership race: Ben Wallace backs Liz Truss as she attacks Rishi Sink’s lack of experience

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Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has questioned Rishi Sunak’s experience of becoming Britain’s next prime minister after he threw his support behind the former chancellor’s Tory leadership rival Liz Truss.

Mr Wallace’s endorsement of Ms Truss is being seen as a significant boost to the Foreign Secretary’s chances of winning the No 10 race ahead of a key weekend of campaigning for the two Tory leadership contenders.

Before the Tory leadership contest began earlier this month, the defense secretary was seen as the front-runner to replace Boris Johnson, who topped the early poll of Conservative MPs with a final decision due on September 5. will do But he decided not to participate in the election. A battle ensued between the candidates to win his support.

Explaining his decision on Sky News on Friday morning, Mr Wallace said Ms Truss’ experience as finance minister as well as the Foreign Office and international trade, as well as her commitment to spending 3 per cent of GDP on defence, His determination earned him this honor. Edge

“She’s actually incredibly experienced in government. You know, she’s the only candidate who served almost two years as chief secretary of the Treasury. She was in international trade, negotiating trade deals. And now she’s been Foreign Secretary. That’s a wide experience that I’m afraid Rishi doesn’t have. Yes, he’s, you know, been in the Chancellery, but he doesn’t have that wide of experience. “

Mr Wallace also doubled down on his criticism of Mr Sink for triggering Mr Johnson’s downfall by resigning as chancellor, citing major differences with the prime minister over economic policy.

But the defense minister said: “I don’t think pulling out at a time of crisis was the right mechanism. There were other mechanisms to do what he wanted. If Rishi Singh didn’t want the prime minister to be the prime minister, he would have done it.” There are other mechanisms for . And all these are for other ministers. He made his choice. He aligns himself with it.

“My decision was, you know, first of all, I didn’t want to be prime minister but if I was in that position I think there was another way to do it.”

After Thursday night’s first hustings event with the two candidates in Leeds, Ms Truss and Mr Sink were back on the campaign trail on Friday with the former chancellor expected to poll Tory MPs in Kent while the Secretary Foreigners were expected to be in Suffolk and Norfolk. .

With ballots being posted to the 160,000 Conservative activists who will decide the contest early next week, it is the end of a week for Mr Sink who is trailing in the polls among Tory MPs.

In an appeal to the Tory base, Mr Sink announced plans on Thursday to double the number of foreign criminals deported from Britain if he becomes prime minister.

He told the Daily Express: “We are very soft on foreigners who commit crimes in our country so I will double the number of foreign criminals we deport. I will reduce crime by locking them up, keeping them locked up, and creating the prison space necessary to do so.”

Former security minister Damien Hinds, who is backing Mr Sink, insisted the former chancellor could still win the contest.

He added: “The more members hear from Rishi, the more they meet Rishi, the more inclined they are to vote for Rishi as a candidate, not just on record, experience, character and With vision. In place, Conservative policies to ensure we can win this historic fifth general election we need to win against Labour.

Mr Hinds, the Tory MP for Hampshire East, also defended Mr Sink’s plans to cut VAT on energy bills if he became prime minister and questioned Ms Truss’ plans for her own tax cuts, which she Kemp says inflation will increase.

He said there was a “huge difference” between plans to cut VAT on energy bills and “unfunded, massive increases in spending or cuts in taxes and all the debt that comes with it”. He added: “Holding inflation is the last thing you want, when you’re facing a life crisis.”